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Russia's Ex-EBRD Rep Faces 5 Years in Jail

Prosecutors sought a five-year jail term on Tuesday against Russia's former representative to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, or EBRD, who is currently on trial facing bribery charges.

Yelena Kotova is accused of having extorted $1.4 million from a Canadian oil exploration company that had sought a $95-million loan from the EBRD while working in Russia, Interfax said.

Prosecutors likewise sought five years for Kotova's alleged accomplice, former banker Igor Lebedev, who stands accused of having mediated the graft scheme.

Moscow's Simonovsky District Court is set to issue a verdict in the case next Monday.

Kotova, 59, who represented Russia at the EBRD between 2005 and 2011, pleaded not guilty, according to her Facebook page.

She went on to claim via Facebook that the case had been fabricated by the FBI as a means of decreasing Russia's influence at the EBRD.

In Russia, the crime of attempted commercial bribery carries a maximum term of 12 years in prison and a fine of up to 50 times the size of the bribe, or more than $70 million in Kotova's case.

See also:

EBRD Lending to Russia May Fall

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